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Old 2010-07-01, 19:30   Link #12361
Kylon99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
I don't think we need to work on evidences alone, but I think we need to work on "clues". What I refuse to do is working on "non clues" or on "what ifs".
...

A true detective can't just point the finger to all the suspects and then say: "Hey I did point the finger to the culprit!"
That's not how it works! A detective is allowed to elaborate many theories but he must then rule out every of them except one!

That's why in the first place a detective must work on clues not on his own fantasies. It's just a waste of time. The point of the game is to reach a single truth, not listing all the possible "truths".
I'm with you on that. What I am grumbling about... and... perhaps I am grumbling a bit too much about, is the shutting down of valid clue-supported theories based on counter theories that have no clues supporting them. As an example, "George has an independent source of magic knowledge." This has been supported by our going back and re-reading the early episodes. But a counter theory that has no support is, "Maybe George was just being nice to Maria/Shannon/whoever at X time. And maybe he was just making conversation at the other time. Etc."

Both your example and mine leads to dead-end thinking for a detective novel...

Anyways, I'll gotta stop acting like an old man ( "Git off my lawn!") and stop this grumbling.

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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
I'm a scientist and I just want to know the truth. I don't care at all how to find it, whatever works, as long as I can be sure it is.
Well, what I'm suggesting regards to working with clues is just for those of us who want to prove we've figured it out before he outright tells us the answer. 8) Technically speaking if you just want to know the truth, you could wait till EP7 or 8 and you'll have your answers... some of them at least...
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Old 2010-07-01, 19:50   Link #12362
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
Sorry, I wanted to stay out of this pointless argument on methodology, but I have to answer to that.

Solving a mystery for the honour of having been the one to say "I told you so" is just about the most pointless things I can imagine to be doing with a puzzle posed by a human to the entire world as entertainment. You evidently see it as a game that one can win. This is your prerogative, but you have to accept that not everybody does. Sure, offering a thousand guesses and then hitting with one cheapens your victory, if that victory of being the one to be correct is your goal. But please do not impose your goal on other people, they have their right to see it differently.

Maybe this is personal for me, because I get to say "I told you so" on average once every month, in different contexts, and usually, I wish that I were wrong, but turn out correct anyway. But it is definitely not what interests me in Umineko, and I am generally not a mystery fan. I'm not a true detective, or, for that matter, a detective at all, in any sense of the word -- maybe you are, if so, more power to you.

I'm a scientist and I just want to know the truth. I don't care at all how to find it, whatever works, as long as I can be sure it is.
Is it really just my personal opinion or is it how Ryukishi intends this game to be played?

Certainly when he said that those who have found the truth are like the proud possessors of an extremely rare item in a MMORPG and he wanted to preserve that advantage as far as possible, he really seemed to imply that the objective of this game is to find and hold that "extremely rare item".

Of course if you have 1000 items and you don't even know which one is the "extremely rare" one, it's as if you don't have it.

I don't mean to say that you aren't entitled to enjoy this story the way you want, hell you don't even need to "play" it, you can simply treat it as a novel and nothing else.

But there is an objective way this game is meant to be played. If you refuse that way you simply aren't playing, or you are playing your own game.

Anyway in my opinion you are not really finding the truth. I mean... you are just digging up a lot of cat boxes. In the end when game will be finished all cat boxes will be opened and you'll have your truth. But then... you don't even need to dig up the cat boxes in the first place. The truth will come whether you are looking for it or not.

Reasoning about this story only makes sense if your objective is to reach the truth before it's revealed.

So it's all right for you if you want to try at random. But a scientist makes test. You can't simply make hypothesis. A real scientist job is to falsify theories.

Quote:
I'm with you on that. What I am grumbling about... and... perhaps I am grumbling a bit too much about, is the shutting down of valid clue-supported theories based on counter theories that have no clues supporting them. As an example, "George has an independent source of magic knowledge." This has been supported by our going back and re-reading the early episodes. But a counter theory that has no support is, "Maybe George was just being nice to Maria/Shannon/whoever at X time. And maybe he was just making conversation at the other time. Etc."

Both your example and mine leads to dead-end thinking for a detective novel...

Anyways, I'll gotta stop acting like an old man ( "Git off my lawn!") and stop this grumbling.
Your point is correct. the weak point in my statements so far is the fact that the concept of what is a clue and what is not is not clear. If so many discussions exist in this forum is because there are many different opinion on which are the relevant clues, which aren't clues at all, and which are the red herrings.

So your point isn't wrong. We can naturally discuss and argue about which is a clue and which is not.
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Old 2010-07-01, 19:57   Link #12363
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Well, once you've gathered your 1 in a thousand rare items you can start using your idenfication spells to work out which is correct, by seeing which ones don't work, and which fit the facts best. Indeed, Battler says this - you can't just make one massive theory only to find it fall apart over a detail.
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Old 2010-07-01, 20:10   Link #12364
Jan-Poo
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Yes, that's right. But you need to use that "identify magic" spell. Experiments are the core of the modern scientific method.

Too bad in this context we can't rely on anything pragmatic. So we are bound to our logic. We have no choice but to create a certain set of logic rules and make every theory pass through that.

Knox rules, red truths, are some useful tools.

depending on how strict your "rules" are, you might get 1000 theories to pass or 0. If it's zero, your rules are too strict, and you need to lose up a little. If too many theories pass, then you rules aren't strict enough. You must believe that this game is solvable and that means the solution must be something that stands out among all the others. If it's indistinguishable from a sea of other theories, then the author didn't do his job right.

It's like adjusting the contrast on your screen. You must adjust it until only one clear image stands out.
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Old 2010-07-01, 20:21   Link #12365
Oliver
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Originally Posted by Kylon99 View Post
So... the question is... who and why?
Hmm...
  • The fact that at least the First Letter is always the same suggests that it was written before the start of the game, and possibly others too.
  • It would be absolutely silly for Kinzo to put up the epitaph (whoever designed it) if he did not at least consider the possibility that it might be solved. (As a Chinese proverb says, "If you're going hunting for tigers, be ready to actually meet one.")
  • We have no reason to doubt that the epitaph was put up on Kinzo's direct orders, either.
  • The letters demand the family to solve the epitaph in no uncertain terms, promising punishment, though the nature of that punishment remains rather vague in the text of letters themselves. ("Furthermore, I am to receive everything of the Ushiromiya family as interest.")
  • It takes the characters quite a while to conclude that "everything of the Ushiromiya family" includes actual lives, so it's not only inobvious for us, but for them also. Notice that it's George who offers the idea.
  • If I were an Ushiromiya, my first thought of "everything" would be the actual headship, that is, Beatrice is letting everyone have one last chance at headship before she comes out of the closet (the one that Ushiromiyas are so afraid to look into because of the skeletons in them) and proclaims herself the head and owner of "everything" in such a way that she cannot be disclaimed or opposed. Ability to threaten with it does not actually imply the desire to do it.
  • As I have described already when discussing inheritance law, inheritance in this manner would involve an intermediary entity to hold the practical headship. (Damn, I want footnotes.)

I think this suggests we should dissociate the Fake First Twilight, the real murders, and the epitaph solving completely. At least, it implies that Kinzo didn't want anything except the solution of the epitaph to occur.

Here's a possible variant of Kinzo's plan:

Spoiler:


So it has to be someone else.

In Ep5, we are presented with a situation which looks like a Fake First Twilight occuring at the instigation of the Anti-Krauss faction, as part of a plan to get back at Natsuhi and Krauss and to get them to reveal Kinzo's death. This is supported by the letter-and-the-knock scene where I think there is no doubt that there were no letter and no knock, and someone (Kanon, probably) just brought the ring to Battler, and everyone agreed to lie about it. Then Rosa leaves early and creates the fake first twilight with herself as one of the "victims" who's bodies nobody even saw.

Do we have any other motives for a Fake First Twilight in the first place? If we don't, can we suspect that this motive is active in all cases of Fake First Twilight?

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Originally Posted by Kylon99 View Post
By the way, these mirrors are supposed to be these bronze discs that you fill with water to see your reflection right? I mean, they're not like polished glass and metal or anything; the brittle western-style mirrors we all know. It's not that easy to try and smash bronze... 8)
The anime clearly depicts Shannon smashing a glass mirror. Unfortunately, we do not know if the Japanese viewers considered that odd...

If they did, it's a metaphor because it's impossible to smash that mirror at all. If they didn't... Well, I say it's still a metaphor because I don't agree at all with the idea that Beatrice somehow snaps out of the role if she sees herself in the mirror, because the first appearance of anything resembling Moetrice, in the end of Ep3, actually suggests she very well knows what she looks like, and is, in fact, surprised to see herself as Beatrice instead. There are no story-relevant material effects that can be produced with a mirror.

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Originally Posted by Kylon99 View Post
Technically speaking if you just want to know the truth, you could wait till EP7 or 8 and you'll have your answers... some of them at least...
Technically, yes, but I have a strong suspicion it is closely related to a research problem I've been thinking on for the past three years, and I've been generally looking for things that look like it in fiction -- which are far more common there than in published research. Since it sounds very likely we'll only get some of the answers, I need to look for the ones I need myself.
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Old 2010-07-01, 20:30   Link #12366
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Hmm... these two approaches seem comparable to Bernkastel and Lambda, heh.

I'm actually not sure if Fake First Twilight really explains that much. Sure, it leaves you vulnerable, but not so vulnerable someone would be able to smash 5 faces, open 6 stomachs or whatever without the others reacting.

Hmm... how about they agree to take drugs to make themselves appear more dead (thinking sleeping pills here, not Romeo and Juliet stuff)? The twist: the culprit agrees to take the same drug to "prove" it's not a trap or dangerous.

Hypothetical example - Shannon gets the other 5 to take the pills, after taking them herself, for the fake first twilight. Someone else then comes in and kills the others, before splattering Shannon in blood to the point where she looks not too unlike the others at a quick glance. Or perhaps someone else hears of the plan, and moves in to take advantage? Hmm...
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Old 2010-07-01, 20:33   Link #12367
Oliver
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Is it really just my personal opinion or is it how Ryukishi intends this game to be played?
Probably he does. Should that be any reason for me to play it like that, other than advisory?

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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Anyway in my opinion you are not really finding the truth. I mean... you are just digging up a lot of cat boxes.
*long lecture on the applicability of the cat box metaphor to the idea of social intersubjective truth left for another day*

What if they're actually the same cat box, seen from different sides?

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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
So it's all right for you if you want to try at random. But a scientist makes test. You can't simply make hypothesis. A real scientist job is to falsify theories.
Sorry, but... no, not quite. Actual scientific practice is quite different. I shall direct you to the works of Paul Karl Feyerabend, in particular, "Against Method", for details, look it up if you're curious. Universal methodological rules that are invariably used by all scientists in all sciences simply do not exist.

And let's just agree to disagree on something that should be everyone's personal matter in the first place. Disagreeing did not actually stop us from discussing things seriously with at least a semblance of common language so far, did it.
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Old 2010-07-01, 21:04   Link #12368
Oliver
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I'm actually not sure if Fake First Twilight really explains that much. Sure, it leaves you vulnerable, but not so vulnerable someone would be able to smash 5 faces, open 6 stomachs or whatever without the others reacting.

Hmm... how about they agree to take drugs to make themselves appear more dead (thinking sleeping pills here, not Romeo and Juliet stuff)? The twist: the culprit agrees to take the same drug to "prove" it's not a trap or dangerous.
That would be the practical way to do it. It's actually very hard to stay motionless for many hours, contain your breathing and otherwise pretend to be a corpse for close examination -- for one, you'd get bored stiff. Once you take a suitable drug, though, you're defenceless and can be killed with a dull knitting needle if someone takes the time to hammer one into you. This is definitely the way to go with Ep2, where it could well have been a real party, even with some very strained smiles -- cutting stomachs open could also have been a measure to confuse an expected scientific investigation of stomach contents when the police does arrive... or, a way to create very damning evidence against the drugger who had no ill intentions.

That's apparently not the only way, though. In Ep5, nobody trusted actually saw the bodies at all, and since they just woke up and left soon after, there probably was no drugging. In Ep3, the only body that comes up again is Shannon, who is shown to have been resurrected, too, which has to mean something more directly relevant to the material world than just George hugging a corpse and crying.

In both cases, the victims are declared dead in red soon after anyway, which means there still has to be a way available on the island to quickly kill five or six people with no resistance or too much noise...
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:15   Link #12369
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The twisted nature of the ep2 First Twilight makes me wonder. If it wasn't intended that the actual murder was going to be so nasty, then the fakers have a rather wild imagination.
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:23   Link #12370
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The twisted nature of the ep2 First Twilight makes me wonder. If it wasn't intended that the actual murder was going to be so nasty, then the fakers have a rather wild imagination.
Or rather they must have known Battler had read Higurashi. There's the watanagashi ritual remember? It literally means "flowing guts".
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:26   Link #12371
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Are you suggesting the faked FTs were supposed to remind Battler of things he would actually be familiar with? Are there matching patterns in other instances to other mystery stories?
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:29   Link #12372
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If i remember correctly, after looking at EP2 first twilight, Rosa remembered one of her birthdays.. i dont think any FT reminded Battler of anything he has seen.
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:30   Link #12373
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Are you suggesting the faked FTs were supposed to remind Battler of things he would actually be familiar with? Are there matching patterns in other instances to other mystery stories?
The episode 2 FT always reminded me of watanagashi, but I just assumed that was because it was by the same author. Cutting out people's guts like that was what happened to Rika and Mamiya Rina (on one occasion) and it was what Takano called an occult ritual in Hinamizawa. I'm not familiar with enough mysteries to make any connections to the other FT's.
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:38   Link #12374
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Are you suggesting the faked FTs were supposed to remind Battler of things he would actually be familiar with? Are there matching patterns in other instances to other mystery stories?
Well, the entire damn game is based off of And Then There Were None, which Battler HAS to be familiar with.
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:42   Link #12375
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Were that the case, you'd think he'd figure out the prospect of a faked death a bit faster.
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:44   Link #12376
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That would be the practical way to do it. It's actually very hard to stay motionless for many hours, contain your breathing and otherwise pretend to be a corpse for close examination -- for one, you'd get bored stiff. Once you take a suitable drug, though, you're defenceless and can be killed with a dull knitting needle if someone takes the time to hammer one into you. This is definitely the way to go with Ep2, where it could well have been a real party, even with some very strained smiles -- cutting stomachs open could also have been a measure to confuse an expected scientific investigation of stomach contents when the police does arrive... or, a way to create very damning evidence against the drugger who had no ill intentions..
A more plausible scenario would be if the fake deaths were never intended to actually fool anyone, just be good enough for suspension of disbelief. After they get murdered for real... Well, if the surviving conspirators don't notice the real wounds, are they going to call attention to the fact that the victims are too good at acting?
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Old 2010-07-02, 00:58   Link #12377
Kaisos Erranon
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Were that the case, you'd think he'd figure out the prospect of a faked death a bit faster.
Well, in Ep1 the bodies were presented in such a way that he probably wouldn't think of a faked death. Their faces were torn off.

That, and he overthinks stuff. He's incompetent, after all.
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Old 2010-07-02, 03:32   Link #12378
Oliver
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The episode 2 FT always reminded me of watanagashi, but I just assumed that was because it was by the same author. Cutting out people's guts like that was what happened to Rika and Mamiya Rina (on one occasion) and it was what Takano called an occult ritual in Hinamizawa. I'm not familiar with enough mysteries to make any connections to the other FT's.
There's one thing in particular that always bothered me about Ep2 FT ever since I saw it in the anime.

People are sitting at the table. Presumably with chairs which have backs to them, or they would fall off. Their wounds are not immediately obvious, in fact in Rosa's narration, she suspects they're dead because they don't move, initially, then notices the blood on the floor, then notices the wounds. Which basically has to mean she can't see the wounds until she's very close. The anime displays that in a way as graphic as it can be shown on TV.

Now, if you just make a cut in someone's abdomen, the insides will not necessarily flow out, you have to look in the anatomical atlas to do it right. But let's presume they did. Now they have to make a few fairly precise cuts and possibly even dig around inside someone who's sitting next to a table.

That's very little space to work in, so you need to at least turn them around with their chairs or something, then turn them back. It had to have happened in the chapel because of blood and stomach contents on the floor.

Basically, if you found them seated and drugged in this manner, cutting bellies open is cumbersome and quite a lot of work. The only rational motives I can see to do it are to make testing for poison harder and to make everyone suspect that the drug was actually the murder weapon, these don't work all that well since nobody seems concerned about police or forensics around here much, other than as an excuse to leave the dead alone.
If they weren't drugged and you killed them by wounds other than those in the abdomen, what's the point of seating them around the table? And if the wounds were faked by simply pouring copious amounts of coloured sugar syrup over mashed cookies, and everyone imagined the gory details, why exactly are they dead?

It is not clear how close did Battler ever get to the actual bodies, and this mutilation in particular makes precious little sense, so maybe it didn't happen.

Which is closely related to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by LyricalAura View Post
A more plausible scenario would be if the fake deaths were never intended to actually fool anyone, just be good enough for suspension of disbelief. After they get murdered for real... Well, if the surviving conspirators don't notice the real wounds, are they going to call attention to the fact that the victims are too good at acting?
There's one thing about playing dead that you can't fake period -- 36.6C body temperature. Unfortunately, dead bodies take about 8 hours to actually cool down completely. Two hours after death is enough for discolouration of the skin to show, with the areas where the blood has settled turning dark, and the exposed areas becoming paler, as the blood moves according to gravity. But that could be written off for makeup or something.

So yes, someone who doesn't expect the FT victims to be dead and instead expects fake wounds might remain unaware. We do have reason to suspect quite a lot of fakery is going on one way or another, not just with the first twilight. That makes Battler in particular even more incompetent for not noticing, since nobody asked him to suspend his disbelief, but I suppose it still works, he never takes this hand out of his pocket anyway unless it is to point at things.

But once again, if the wounds are fake and not the cause of death, what is the cause of death?

Poison or drug overdose? Hauling six bodies in the rain is problematic and extremely risky, so you have to somehow time it to when they are wherever you want them. Some wound that is obscured by the fake wound? Usual problems about killing six people in quick succession apply.

Wrath of the Author?...
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Old 2010-07-02, 03:56   Link #12379
Kylon99
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Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
Hauling six bodies in the rain is problematic and extremely risky, so you have to somehow time it to when they are wherever you want them. Some wound that is obscured by the fake wound? Usual problems about killing six people in quick succession apply.
About the hauling of bodies: I think if there were more blood trails in the house, then we'd be more certain that the bodies were dragged. There was some blood in EP1's dining room but no huge trail leading out to the shack.

So without them, it seems like it's a clue that the people pick themselves up and relocate before they are killed. At least in EP1 and 5. In EP2, they could've been lured to one spot to fake their deaths, rather than told to go find separate rooms. This, once again owing to the lack of blood trails...
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Old 2010-07-02, 04:34   Link #12380
Oliver
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Originally Posted by Kylon99 View Post
About the hauling of bodies: I think if there were more blood trails in the house, then we'd be more certain that the bodies were dragged. There was some blood in EP1's dining room but no huge trail leading out to the shack.

So without them, it seems like it's a clue that the people pick themselves up and relocate before they are killed. At least in EP1 and 5.
In Ep1 in particular, the shed looks like the perfect hiding place for the living victims while someone worries where the bodies have gone after seeing the bloody dining hall. But something has to have gone wrong, things happen out of order -- bodies are found in the shed first, and Kumasawa, who bursts in reporting blood in the dining hall, is spectacularly late.

Let us assume that nobody is meant to see the bodies so that nobody gets a chance to examine them clearly. Then, plan is that the FFT victims paint up the dining hall, and hide in the shed, while in the morning, Kumasawa reports seeing dead bodies. Upon coming to the dinner hall, everybody sees it all bloody but no bodies, search of the mansion grounds confirms that the bodies are nowhere to be found, and the shed is deliberately passed by, people only come out of it after the search is called off and the survivors are huddled up together somewhere. That raises two questions:
  • Is there any particular reason why Kumasawa would be late?
  • What would convince Krauss to play along with the Anti-Krauss faction, or for that matter, the Anti-Krauss faction to play along with Krauss if he's the initiator? Why is he so missing in Ep5 anyway?
If the bodies are meant to be seen in the dining hall by an unprepared witness, two other questions pop up:
  • Just when were they expected to be found, and by whom?
  • And, why weren't they?
...and in both cases, why does Jessica immediately run to the shed?
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